Jesse D. Levin

Principal Economic Researcher

Jesse Levin is a principal research economist at AIR, where he has directed projects investigating school finance equity and adequacy, resource allocation, and educational effectiveness. He is the founding director of the AIR Economic Evaluation of Policies and Programs Methods Hub and led the Cost Analysis Standards Project, which produced the Standards for Economic Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs. He currently manages economic evaluations of educational interventions being studied at AIR and serves as the director of several cost analysis/cost effectiveness components of randomized control trial studies of various educational interventions. Most recently he served as principal investigator of a study of the Los Angeles Unified School District Student Equity Needs Index, as well as an investigation of adequate K-12 funding in New Hampshire using an education cost function approach. He previously directed national studies of school district weighted student funding systems and Title I resource allocation, both funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Additional studies he directed include a study comparing charter and traditional school funding in California and Maryland, respectively, high-profile educational adequacy studies in California, New Mexico and New York, evaluations of K-12 state school finance systems in Hawaii, Nevada and Pennsylvania, investigations of educator supply and demand in Oklahoma and Massachusetts, and studies of educational resource allocation and effectiveness both within and across school districts. His work at AIR over the past 19 years has drawn upon his expertise in applied econometrics and quantitative methods.

In addition to his professional research duties, Dr. Levin is also active in California public education at both the state and local levels, serving as an appointed member of the California Practitioner Advisory Group and Technical Design Group which advise the California State Board of Education, and previously served as president of his local school district board of trustees (Pacifica School District). In addition, he is a co-recipient of the Association of Educational Service Agencies 2007 E. Robert Stephens Award for the research study Similar Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better? A Large-Scale Survey of California Elementary Schools Serving Low-Income Students. His articles have appeared in American Education Research Association Open, Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Empirical Economics, Labour Economics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and Peabody Journal of Education. He also regularly serves as a referee for several peer reviewed journals (Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Educational Policy, Empirical Economics, Journal of Education Human Resources, and Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness).

Prior to his work at AIR, Dr. Levin served as an economics researcher for the Institute for Research of Schooling, Labor Market and Economic Development (SCHOLAR) in the Netherlands, where he conducted research in the economics of education and labor economics and performed major countrywide studies of the efficacy of class size reduction, the differences in the effectiveness of private versus public schooling, and measuring the rate of return to educational investment.

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Ph.D., Economics, University of Amsterdam and the Tinbergen Institute; M.A., Economics, San Francisco State University; B.S., Economics, University of Oregon